“Jax, guess what I found,” Lacey said over the phone. Anyone who knew me from or through someone from my high school volleyball days called me ‘Jax,’ but we’ll be getting back to names later.
Lacey’s mom, as moms do when they realize their adult children have their own closets and attics, had dropped off a box of Lacey’s childhood memorabilia. Inside was a grade one printing assignment from Mrs. Fritz’s class: What do you want to be when you grow up? Every kid had written their classmates’ answers.
For Lacey, we had written “vet.” She became a nurse, and a dang good one.
For half the boys in the class, “NHL player.” Even for one kid who didn’t play hockey.
For me? “Mom, teacher, writer.”
“Only you would make us write more than one thing and become all of them,” Lacey said. I could almost see her loving eyeroll and shake of the head through the phone.
Either I had been a determined kid or I should have added “lottery winner” to that magic assignment.
Sure, The Inquirer was the project that made my creative writing hobby public, but between that grade one proclamation and the release of The Inquirer, I had turned my life-long passion for words into a career.
I earned a couple writing degrees, started a writing business, taught online and on campus for a couple post-secondary schools, and merged that writing business with another. I already mentioned in another writer’s note that The Inquirer started as my masters dissertation.
I have written and edited everything from heavy equipment procedures to magazine articles. My clients have included a pilot with a drone business, a hockey-playing telecommunications specialist, and women running non-profits. The variety keeps me learning and entertained, and the flexibility allows me to be the mom I want to be and to work around my post-traumatic migraines.
Oh, but six-year-old me had secretly dreamt of seeing a book with her name on it. How easy it must have seemed back then when I wrote those three little words for that assignment. Now it’s me rolling my eyes and shaking my head. Lovingly of course.
Why Jaclyn Dawn?
Back to the topic of names. My creative writing – the writing I write for me, not for work – is under the name Jaclyn Dawn. I am proud to have carried the surname of four great men in my life: my dad and brother, my son, and my husband. But no matter the surname, I have always been both a storyteller and Jaclyn Dawn.
Avenue Magazine invited me to write and published a creative non-fiction piece this month about my family’s shared hobby. Motorbiking is my sure cure for writer’s block, so it’s a shame we have eight months of winter.